In a bipartisan briefing in Washington, D.C., members of Congress were updated both on the increasing number of successful cases of adult stem cell therapy, and on the increasing number of failures of embryonic stem cells, which have never advanced beyond the laboratory stage.
House Representatives Randy Forbes, a Republican from Virgina, and Daniel Lipinski, a Democrat from Illinois, co-hosted the event in conjunction with the Family Research Council (FRC). Among the researchers testifying before the Congressmen was Dr. Richard Burt of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, whose publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association in February of 2008 garnered widespread attention for its analysis of hundreds of adult stem cell studies that had been conducted between 1997 and 2007, and from which Dr. Burt gathered together an entire decade’s worth of quantitative proof that adult stem cells derived from blood and bone marrow have already been safely and effectively used to treat a number of cardiac and autoimmune disorders.
Congressmen Forbes and Lipinski are promoting the “Patients First Act”, which would legislate and prioritize the funding of stem cell research by stem cell type. According to a representative of the FRC, “Embryonic stem cells have yet to treat a single human patient and this is unlikely to change in the future. Adult stem cells are already providing therapeutic benefit to human patients for 73 diseases and condition.” Also appearing before the Congressmen were several patients who have been successfully treated with adult stem cell therapy, which included Barry Goudy who had been treated for multiple sclerosis, Amy Daniels who had been treated for systemic sclerosis, and Jill Rosen who had been treated for lupus. Each of these individuals spoke about their personal experiences with adult stem cell therapy.